United States
           Environmental Protection
               Air and
The Office of
Protecting People
and the Environment

    he Office of Radiation Programs (ORP) carries
out the Environmental Protection  Agency's (EPA)
radiation protection activities. These activities
include issuing policy guidance and regulations;
measuring environmental radiation levels; evaluat-
ing and assessing the impact of radiation on
public health; distributing public information;
working with state and local governments and
professional and industry groups to promote
action to reduce exposure to harmful radiation
levels; and responding to radiological

To effectively carry out its mission, ORP has de-
veloped the seven program areas discussed in the
following text:  Radon Action Program, Nuclear
Accident Response, Radioactive Waste Disposal,
Radioactively Contaminated Sites, Industrial Radia-
tion, Nonionizing Electromagnetic Fields, and
Technical Assistance.

    he ORP Radon Program is a multifaceted one
built on establishing a solid partnership with the
states, the private sector, and other Federal
agencies. Its goal is to motivate the public to take
action to reduce exposure to elevated levels of
indoor radon.  ORP's approach to this problem is
to provide education and technical assistance
programs for the states,  industry, and the public.
In assisting states, ORP identifies and surveys
areas with high radon levels in houses,  schools
and workplaces.  ORP helps states conduct  radon
surveys and has started the National Residential
Radon Survey.

In addition to identifying radon problems, ORP
evaluates methods of reducing or preventing
elevated radon levels in existing homes, new con-

struction, and large buildings.  The results
of this effort are transferred to states, the
private sector, and other Federal agencies
by conducting training courses both na-
tionwide and at Regional training centers
at major universities.  ORP has also devel-
oped programs that test the abilities of
contractors to measure radon and to fix
radon problems,

To encourage people to test their homes
for radon,  ORP has developed a wide
array of public information material and
conducted numerous major public infor-
mation activities. The most recent activi-
ties include a national advertising cam-
paign in cooperation with the  Advertising
Council and public education programs
with the American Lung Association,
National Education Association, American
Medical Association, and National Safety

    RP plays a major role in responding to nuclear
accidents. During any coordinated Federal response
to an accident, ORP is responsible for monitoring and
assessing offsite radiation exposures and providing
guidance to  Federal, state and local officials on when
and how to take protective actions.  ORP maintains
mobile monitoring and assessment teams and a wide
variety of sophisticated radiation measurement and
communications equipment at its laboratories in Las
Vegas, Nevada, and Montgomery, Alabama. ORP
maintains the Environmental Radiation Ambient
Monitoring System (ERAMS), a nationwide sampling
network. ERAMS routinely collects air, precipitation,

                                                  ^ j  Fields
                                 Uranium Mines & Mill
              Nuclear Weapons Production
                   Nuclear Accident Response
        i /
High-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal
I I  Ml
                Waste Disposal
                               Environmental Radiation Sources

             surface and drinking water, and milk samples from
             which environmental radiation levels are derived.
             This network has also been used during emergen-
             cies such as Chernobyl.

                 ny activity using radioactive materials usually
             creates radioactive waste.  These wastes are gener-
             ally classified into four categories:  low-level waste,
             spent fuel/high-level waste from power reactors,
             transuranic waste from defense operations, and
             waste from milling and mining uranium and tho-
             rium ore. ORP deals with this ever-increasing

problem by selling generally applicable environ-
mental standards for the safe disposal of radioac-
tive waste.  Other agencies, such as the Nuclear
Regulatory Commission (NRC) and the Department
of Energy (DOE), implement these standards
through their licensing, regulatory, and operational

    adiation contamination is a problem at many
sites where radioactive materials are processed and
handled. These sites require different procedures
for investigation, sampling, and materials handling
than do chemically contaminated sites. To help
solve this problem, ORP has an active and expand-
ing program to support Superfund site cleanup ac-
tivities at the growing number of sites on the Na-
tional Priorities List. ORP is also developing criteria
for cleaning up thousands of radioactively contami-
nated buildings and sites for safe alternative uses
once they cease industrial  operation.

   nder the Clean Air Act, ORP has issued regula-
tions covering radionuclide emissions from thou-
sands of industrial facilities and has initiated an
extensive program to enable the states to imple-
ment these regulations.  Also, ORP has developed
guidelines, signed by the President, to protect the
approximately 1.3 million workers employed in
occupations that expose them to radiation.

    onionizing electromagnetic fields come from
such sources as microwave emitters, broadcast

towers, and radars. They also include the electric and
magnetic fields from any use of electricity. ORP assists
states and other Federal agencies by making measure-
ments of these fields.  ORP is assessing the growing
body of scientific data on electromagnetic fields and
also distributes information on this subject of increas-
ing public concern.

    he ORP laboratories in Montgomery and Las
Vegas also support other parts of EPA and other
Federal and state agencies. The laboratories perform
radiochemical analyses and radiological site surveys
and play a major role in  evaluating radon measure-
ment devices. They also  make equipment available to
other organizations, conduct electromagnetic surveys,
and provide advice and training in radiation monitor-
ing and laboratory procedures.

    RP employs people with a wide variety of techni-
cal, policy, and administrative skills in carrying out its
radiation protection activities. The ORP staff is located
in Washington, DC, and at the ORP laboratories in
Montgomery and Las Vegas.  In addition, each of
EPA's 10 regional offices has an active radiation pro-
gram that works in concert with ORP. The people
making up the ORP and regional staffs include:
Health Physicists; Electrical, Chemical, Nuclear, and
Mechanical Engineers; Economists; Physicists; Chem-
ists; Biologists; Statisticians; Attorneys; Liberal  Arts
majors; and Clerical and Administrative Support

     For more information on the activities of the
        Office of Radiation Programs write to:
            Office of Radiation Programs
                 USEPA - ANR-459
               Washington, DC 20460